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Paper and the Millennial Marketing Mix
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Because of their purchasing power and size, marketers are lining up to engage (and influence) Millennials. But how do you connect with a generation that has spent most of their lives online? Despite their connection to all things digital, there is a place for print in the communication mix.

The Memo on Millennials

Here are a couple of facts about Millennials, aka Generation Y:

  • They are between the ages of 20 and 38.
  • At 73 million people, millennials account for a quarter of the population, making them the largest living generation.
  • Millennials and Generation Z are said to account for more than a 1/3 of the workforce (38%).
  • 34% of millennials have a bachelor’s degree or higher.
  • Millennials average yearly expenditures totals around $47,112.
  • Collectively, they spend $600 billion in the United States each year.

The Millennial Divide

The Millennial generation is an interesting one that it’s divided into groups – Early Millennials and Younger Millennials.

Early Millennials (those born 1982 – 1988) were older (and some were even holding jobs) during the Great Recession – so they began their adult lives as more optimistic, collaborative and flexible. They were the first to use social media and technology, but also remember life without the internet. They appreciate authentic, honest messages that speak to their positive and inclusive idealism.

Younger Millennials (those born 1989 – 2000) were still kids when the Great Recession hit, so they have a tendency to be more financially conscious, realistic and questioning.  They don’t remember life without the internet  and tend to be more digitally instinctive. They also appreciate authentic, honest messaging, but with a more realistic approach and a nod to good value.

Read more about our breakdown of this generation (as well as others) here.

Making It Memorable With Millennials

While they do love all things digital, paper still has a place in marketing to Millennials. Did you know that they LOVE direct mail? 80% of Millennials want brands to entertain them – and direct mail is a medium that can always put on a show.

A few things to consider:

  • Customized content helps build an immediate connection. Include things like the readers’ name as well as images, colors, visuals and copy that appeals directly to them. Remember to keep those elements authentic – they prefer real people versus spokespeople.
  • Interaction with mail is a tactile experience – so paper and techniques are important. Over 85% of millennials pick up the mail at the first opportunity and spend over 9 minutes engaging with it. Using papers with a super smooth finish (like Cougar® Digital Color Copy or Lynx® Digital Super Smooth), adding a textured varnish or using an interesting fold will help your direct mail stand out.
  • At least 95% of Millennials say they want their brands to court them actively. Part of this is achieved with email – but using direct mail on paper is a great way to reach those customers who send emails directly to their junk folder. Their mailboxes are mostly empty – so coupons, loyalty program information or rewards sent via mail will most likely influence their purchases.

Just a reminder – no one method of communication works for every generation. Instead, embrace media that best serves your needs, whether it’s print, digital or a combination of the two.

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Direct Effect – Making Direct Mail Academic

2020 Back to School Shopping Trends

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Vanecia Carr
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